Knoxville boy burned after accidentally catching self on fire

Knoxville boy burned after accidentally catching self on fire

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It happened just after 6:30 a.m. Wednesday on the 400 block of Oakcrest Road. It happened just after 6:30 a.m. Wednesday on the 400 block of Oakcrest Road.
KPD and KFD arson investigators responded to the scene to collect evidence. KPD and KFD arson investigators responded to the scene to collect evidence.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knoxville officials are investigating after a child accidentally burned most of his upper body Wednesday morning.

It happened just after 6:30 a.m. on the 400 block of Oakcrest Road.

The Knoxville Police Department told 6 News at the scene the Xaviar Graves, 11, called his mom and said someone threw a cigarette at him when he was walking to the bus stop.  However, officials say that report is not true.

KPD officers reviewed a security video from the boy's residence which shows the child playing with a gas can and lighter in his backyard, and then he accidentally caught himself on fire.

"In this particular case it's an ongoing investigation," said Knoxville Fire Department spokesman DJ Corcoran.

Graves was burned over 50 percent of his body including his chest, back, neck and arms.

The Knoxville Fire Department says Graves was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment.

He was then taken to the Burn Care Unit of Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati, Oh., where he is listed in serious condition.

Neighbors say Xaviar was a very friendly kid.

"I've seen him play," said neighbor Mark Myers. "I've seen him get off the school bus, walk down the road, wave all the time."

"I'm really sad," said neighbor Carolyn Huber. "He's a very good little kid, very quiet."

"He's all the time coming over and asking if he can help me do something," said neighbor Fred Reagan. "He would always say I'll help you do that if you want to."

The fire department does provide fire safety education for students in Knox County Schools, but they say it is really up to the parents to teach their kids about the dangers of playing with fire.

"There's no replacement for parents teaching their children these things," said Corcoran. "Also to really drill it into their heads and make them aware fire can really hurt somebody."

Neighbors just hope Xaviar can return home soon.

"I hope he's doing well," said Reagan. "I hope he gets along real well. I hope he comes out of this in good shape."

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